Sunday, March 22, 2015

Week Flashed By...

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: March 22, 2015 at 7:00:08 PM MDT

Dear Family,

This week flashed by but also seems like it was the longest week ever.
At one point I was so confused that after planning and started reading
my patriarchal blessing just trying to get my head straight.

Saturday we were talking to people in a food court very popular to the
Spanish community. We spoke with some people but it was a little hard
when they were eating lunch. I asked him if he wanted to go to a park
where some Spanish people play soccer or go to the bus station. To my
surprise he said let's go to the bus station.

When we arrived there, a
young bloke about our age was sitting on a bench smoking. He was
wearing a soccer jersey so I knew Elder Mills would like to talk with

He asked us if we were promoting a candidate for the elections
and we told him that we were from our church. He asked which church
and as we began to talk he told us that he would like to become
Christian. He's from a Iraq. He tried to get baptized there but the
priest of the Assyrian churches said they could not. They probably
didn't want him to get killed. But he told us that when he came to
Australia he came alone and he changed his name and tells everyone
he's Christian and even wears a Catholic rosary but he still hasn't
been baptized. He asked if he could get baptized in our Church. We
said yes and that some missionaries would be stopping around to pick
him up for church.

Now some missionaries that have served in the Spanish ward say it's a
waste of time to go finding. Anyone that says that needs to speak to
my new Iraqi friend Oscar. I love this work. I don't do it for the
numbers. I do it because I am so indebted to my Father in Heaven and
want to show him my love and my gratitude.

Like Mother Teresa said, "My work is not a work of statistics, it's a
work of love”.  I love God. It's been a week of ups and downs but "I can do all things
through Christ Jesus that strengthens me."

I know God's plan is perfect. I was supposed to train Elder Mills but
instead I was sent to Canberra. At first I was disappointed but I
would have been missing a lot by not going there. In Elders Quorum
yesterday the President asked us, "Elders, what do you think you can
do to maintain your spirituality when you go home?" I've been thinking
about that a lot.

People say that you go home and instead of serving
others you have to get a job and work and get educated. But the
scripture in Jacob comes to my mind. "But before ye seek for riches,
seek ye for the kingdom of God. And after ye have obtained a hope in
Christ ye shall receive riches if ye seek them. But ye will seek them
for the intent to do good.". "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is

Our spirituality depends on the course we are taking in life. And
our course is guided by our desires or our intentions. Two RM's can go
home both find a job, buy a car, go to school, and be heading in
opposite directions because the intent of their actions are different.
What Jacob says applies not only to wealth but to everything in our
lives. What is the intent or desire behind doing the things we do?
That is what guides our spirituality and is supplemented by the upkeep
of daily spiritual experiences.

Ok verbal vomit over, thanks for reading if you got this far. Dad's
cursed me with the habit of thinking out loud..

Love you all!

Ofa Atu Elder Weiss

Sunday, March 15, 2015


From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: March 15, 2015 at 6:34:11 PM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <>

Dear President and Sister Back,

It was an interesting week. Forty at sacrament meeting on Sunday. I
was a little bit shocked. That's less than when I started my mission.

The Spanish Ward had 9 baptisms last year but I've never seen it
looking so flat. It wasn't real growth and "those who felt to sing the
song of redeeming love cannot feel so now". I don't think they were
enlisted in the rescue or given responsibilities.

The infrastructure of the ward is broken. Right now I wouldn't say they
are ready to support major growth. With the Bishop moving at the
end of the month the Ward is in a sort of limbo land.

We have talked about asking each
member of the ward council to visit one less active member each week
to try our best to mobilize the Ward council to save their ward.

There is not enough DOING but as always where things aren't happening there
is A LOT of talking. Revelation comes on the move and in this ward we
sit a wonder and talk about when the lightning bolt is going to strike
and wonder why nothing is changing yet.

Today I read 2 Nephi 4. Nephi is acknowledging how weak he is but that
he "know(s) in whom (he has) trusted". He speaks with such boldness
and certainty. I thought to myself, "Surely this is not the same Nephi
that said I will go and do." This is a different Nephi. This Nephi
says "I went and I did and I won't stop doing." The certainty that I
hear in his voice is something that I am beginning to feel in some
small part.

Just like Nephi, I, in the beginning was a good boy. I was
obedient and diligent. But now almost 22 months later I am a man

Yesterday we went to the rescue of a less active member,
Roberto, who came back to church my last week
in the spanish ward the first time I was here. I asked him some bold
questions, "When was the last time you used your priesthood to bless
your wife or children?" It had been over 2 years! "Will you give your
wife and children blessings?" He told us he had forgotten. "Can we
come back another time and help you?" He told us of an acquaintance
that was dying from cancer. "Can we go with you and give this man a
blessing when we come next Saturday?”

I am so weak. I can't do anything unless it's shown to me.
I depend on others to do everything for me. But thank God
that they have done it. They have taught and
mentored me so I can help others.

There is no joy so unexplainable
than to be guided by our Father to the rescue of one of his children.
I wish everyone could feel the joy of being God's hands. It's a power
so incomprehensible that it cannot be explained. Only through the
power of the Holy Ghost can we feel what it is like to live Eternal
Life. As we give all we posses to our Savior Jesus Christ, we begin to
live Eternal Life NOW.

"Oh wretched man that I am... but I know in whom I have trusted."

Love, Elder Weiss

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Suprising Twists and Turns

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Subject: Suprising twists and turns.
Date: March 9, 2015 at 9:32:42 PM MDT

"The first shall be last and the last shall be first." I'm dying
exactly where I was born. Back to El Barrio de Espanol. PW2!

I really wanted to end my mission in a branch in the bush. I volunteered to go
to the most remote area and I thought I had it in the bag but that
wasn't the plan for me. But on the bright side at the rate the Spanish
ward is dropping I'll be serving in a branch before the end of my

Sounds like there is not too much alofa (love) for the Spanish ward
right now. Six months ago there were three companionships
and now it's back to one. So pretty much identical to how I started my

Spanish is quite a challenge. Every day I'm learning how to
teach better in English and now trying to do that in Spanish should be
pretty tricky.

The great thing is that Ofa Amone is the high councilor
over the Spanish ward. He along with Brett Baker have had the biggest
impact on my mission. I'm excited to be working along side him again
but this time on the word level. We are meeting up with him tonight to
make the plan to save the Spanish ward!

About a year ago I wrote a really dramatic email about
how it was the last stand for the Spanish
ward and it was do or die. Well they did... but now it's still
dying... quite perplexing. I think they had 9 baptisms last year
compared to 0 in the previous 2 years but I guess ritual washing are
no good unless they clean us on the inside to eh?

Got to go to the temple today for the first time in 11 months! My mind
was opened and I began to understand. Symbolism has many layers and I
don't think anything typifies that better than the temple.

Too be honest I was pretty gutted to be transfered and released as Zone
Leader. When you are constantly thinking on how you can help other
people and it's a reocurring train of thought and then someone tells
you that it's no longer your train... it feels a bit empty... but
empty space always gets filled.

Yesterday we began re-teaching the first investigator I ever taught on
my mission. We just asked questions and let the spirit guide her to
her own answer. After about 20 min she asked us a Golden question and
she got the Golden answer. We have a return appointment for next week.
I've thought about this lady ever since I left the Spanish ward and
I'm so pleased to be able to teach her again.

I have a hard time letting go of people. Not everyone, but there are
some people that I worry about constantly. People I subconciously pray
for all the time. Ally is one of them. I left a lot of people like
that in Belconnen. It broke my heart to leave... I don't know what's
going to happen to me in four months when my entire life gets
gutted... Not looking forward to it...

Love you! Elder Weiss

Monday, March 2, 2015

Things are Clicking for Us

From: Joseph Weiss <>
Date: March 1, 2015 at 8:53:56 PM MST

Last P-day of the transfer! GAH! This transfer has come and gone too
bloody fast! I only have three more? That means at the pace my brain
is working I'll be home in like four days. I'm too young to die!!! I
feel like I'm in free fall wondering how bad it's gonna hurt when I
splat on the ground.

We are trying to master how to use our time
wisely so that we can fit as much possible into a day. In the past I
might have dropped by an investigators house without an appointment
but now there is not enough time! I can't be bothered wasting that
time so it's phone calls and set appointments only.

Yesterday I felt
like I was going to die! We had a goal for six member present lessons
because we had six appointments but like it sometimes happens the
squirrels climbed back up into their trees and we only had two. But
they were both great!  Our fellowship took a video of our lesson and
he's going to put it on a USB. Watching yourself teach is the next
level! #Distric3

This week we invited heaps more people to be baptised
and they said “yes". If you follow the Fundamental Lesson's suggestion
to invite to be baptized on the first and __ lesson and set a date no
later than the second lesson you will see a lot of people come and go.
But after a small while of doing this you will have a teaching pool
that is serious about your message.

I finally feel like I'm starting
to figure this mission thing out and I've only got three transfers
left! I've worked hard and had a strong desire all my mission but I've
misunderstood the right way to go about it. Elder Shelton and myself
have committed ourselves to studying 1 hr of fundamentals a day during
a slow part of the day. I hope that is alright. We feel like trying to
align ourselves is as important if not more so than going out and

We are trying to figure out how to do two handed pushups.
Because before we were trying to set a pushup record with one hand at
a time. Hasn't worked so well. But we have seen ourselves improve in
all areas of the work as we have emphasized fundamentals. I feel like
missionary work is a tricky game. When you want 3 new investigators in
a week you won't get it. When you are trying to be more loving you

Elder Bednar said that attaining Christ-like attributes occurs
as we sincerely desire the welfare of others. I feel like missionary
work is the same. If we want numbers for the sake of numbers, God
won't let you have them. Doing so would strengthen trust in one's self
and not in God, so he waits. But when we sincerely want to help OTHERS
then God strengthens us to be what he wants us to be.

I asked myself
this question, "If I were to have absurd amounts of sucess as a
missionary, would I keep some for myself?" Unfortunately for me the
answer is yes. My motives are not the same as God's motives. My heart
is not as pure as God's heart. But the more I feel concern for the
welfare of others, the more spiritual power I will receive and the
more people I can help, which coincidentally raises key indicators.

Maybe I don't understand why Key Indicators ARE KEY INDICATORS. If I
understood better "why" then I would use that to satisfy the needs of
others and not my personal agenda. I'm asking myself the question
again, "Who am I?" and it's not because of how fat I am. I feel like
I've won the lottery with my mission. I've learned so much, but I
don't deserve it. I don't get it. Why did I get so lucky? I'm not more
special than anyone else. I feel like anything that is good in my life
is something that was given to me. We all come into this world
depending on others... I guess that never changes.

Hope things are clicking for you like they are clicking for us!

Love Elder Weiss